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Downloads Home » Return of Rome: AI files » DEFAULT (AOE1 Vanilla AI)

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MrElephant This AI is a project I've been working on for some time. The Age of Empires 1 Vanilla original DEFAULT AI from 1997 that has been converted to play standard DE and Return of Rome. There are 54 original strategies that were originally .ai build orders. Twelve of the 54 strategies are Death Match strategies. Ten of the 54 strategies can play any standard Random Map settings that will be stated below with the rest being civ dependent. The strength of this AI is rated to be slightly weaker than the original CD AI. However, I've found some strategies such as Priest Bronze/Priest Iron have overcome the AoE2 CD in many occasions.

Settings consider mainly what the original game was intended to play. However, since the original only played 50 population- this has been expanded to any population between 50 and 200 with multipliers based on the original unit numbers in the build orders. In addition, the current per files use the original PER file settings from six of the eight original strategic number files. The two remaining that were not included being Passive and Passive Aggressive, which would never attack. At the beginning of each game, a random PER setting and random build order are chosen depending on the civ and settings. This AI cannot play all maps, and that is purposefully done to match the original maps the vanilla AI could play from the base 1997 game.

A nicety also included is the AOE1 original leader names are also included depending on the civ chosen (from the original language dll file). If an appropriate civ is not chosen, the AI sticks with the DEFAULT name.


Standard DE:
Maps: Arabia, Team Islands, Islands, Coastal
Population: 50-200
Game Mode: Death Match or Random Map

Return of Rome
Maps: Highlands, Small Islands, Large Islands, Coastal, Inland
Population: 50-200
Game Mode: Death Match or Random Map

Flaws and Weaknesses:

I have converted many AOE1 AIs at this point to play Age of Empires 2 and DE. The main fault of the AI is the ability to play around castles. Castles are a major obstacle to be overcome by any AoE1 ai. This is particularly because of the lack of battering rams. However, five of each type of siege unit (battering rams, armored elephants, and trebs) have been provided to each build order when playing the standard DE settings. This does not mean castles are any less of a challenge for the AI- but it does give them a better chance of succeeding in taking down a castle. The more castles the opponent has- it exponentially makes the game more challenging for the AoE1 AI.

Walls are obviously a slight limitation the AoE1 AI doesnt quite understand. Like any early AI, it hopes the opponent makes a mistake, and opens up the gate.

Scouting- the vanilla AI only scouts with villagers mainly. When attacked by wolves and other wildlife- this can hamper the scouting. I believe this is a flaw in the engine that could be possibly fixed in the future. Note- interestingly enough- the DE AOE1 AI can scout with military.

Also- slingers did not exist in the original core game. This would be identical to not having skirmishers in standard AoE2 DE. So, no slingers or skirmishers can be expected in the build orders.


The purpose of the AI is to provide an AI that can play Return of Rome, but not be as overwhelmingly strong as the DE AI. The original AI was the perfect AI to fit within this frame. In addition, the original AI is one of my personal favorite AIs- so naturally I'd love it to have the ability of playing AoE2 DE and Return of Rome.

How to Install:

Extract the zip file included in the attachment into the following folders.

For Standard DE this means:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\AoE2DE\resources\_common\ai

For Return of Rome the directory is as follows:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\AoE2DE\modes\Pompeii\resources\_common\ai

Other Notes and Special Thanks:

This AI contains very little Userpatch. However, some had to be included mainly to hunt boar. The original aoe1 hunted elephants, so this was fair to include.

Special thanks go out to Leif for his patience and understanding when questions came up. Thanks to Leif Also for the "The Twelve Strategic Number Settings You Must Change Immediately". Each Per file had these twelve values changed, so errors would not occur.
Thanks go out to Bandit for hearing me out and taking an interest in the project in general.
WWMB of course who worked on the AI converter with me. This project used that tool we made. In the end around 400 files were converted in total. Files were converted multiple times to the multiple population settings.


Water strategies had a major overlook. This has now been corrected.
Trireme Bronze and Iron 200 pops corrected.
Can now play custom scenarios with UP-SCENARIO-GAME. Note- only test your scenarios in Skirmish mode.
Trade carts removed on sea maps.
Updated 50 population resign rules on Deathmatch- as the AI resigned too early in some cases.
Cheats added only on hardest- and only when cheats have been enabled- only adds 2000 to each resource based on the original figures. This does not impact Extreme
Difficulty levels - main difference being Passive and Passive aggressive- which will only be on Easiest and Easy settings
Had to provide very limited support for the new GEORGIANS & ARMENIANS civs in standard DE for the mule carts...
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